"Grand Elder" Narcing Lapuz, UP Beta Sigma '48
by Willie Vergara


One of the Betan titans, Narcing Lapus turns 87 on October 29 just three days younger than Founder Rico Arranz . The oldest living Betan outside of the Philippines, Narcing ,who brought fire and fervor to UP Beta Sigma for more than 60 years, truly deserves to be called a grand elder anywhere in the world where there are Betans. Until age caught up with him, he was super-active and attended most of the activities in Northern California. In fact, he nurtured a three-decade long “frat ball attendance contest” with Brod Norman Bituin ’65. Both Narcing and Norman had been consistently attending this major frat activity in both UP South and UP North year in and year out since 1983, when the first fraternity ball was held in San Francisco, California. Obviously, Narcing didn’t understand the word “rest”. On account of a health issue that is normal among folks of his age only then was he forced to default the last fratball in Los Angeles in September 2012.



Narcing’s stint as a professional and a UP student can be described as "Full of Firsts." He was the very first Vet Med Beta Sigman in UP, steadfastly refusing to join that older Greek letter society. Undaunted in his efforts to grow his frat, this first Vet Med Betan eventually organized the Beta Sigma in his college. He was responsible for getting the first Vet Med candidate to run for the highest post in the UP Student Council and became a Student Council representative himself. It just have been reputation as an excellent person that enabled him to recruit into the fraternity his senior and batch mate, now National Scientist Dean Ted Topacio. He later organized the UPSCA Vet Med Chapter - another first. He was no doubt a big man on campus, and a proven leader. He occupied many other responsible positions in the university. He was officer of the UP Vanquard. He was among those who chartered Los Banos Beta Sigma during the time of then President Manuel Alino in 1951. He occupied several posts in the frat, and was Brod Pio de Roda's Vice President. (Did you know that we didn't call the head as GP during those years?) He later passed the Board in 1953 - as topnotcher. Being "first" became Narcing's habit, even after college. He was the first Filipino Vet to pass the California State Board exams. In 1956, he was the first Filipino MPH in America, having acquired this degree in UC Berkeley. He was one of the first who put up the Filipino Center in Stockton.

Indubitably, Narcing is one of Beta Sigma’s greats. As a UP Betan in California, he has seen the evolution of the fraternity in his own State, particularly in Northern California – from birth and formation, to periods of tension, skirmishes and struggles, polarization, to several years of dormancy and lethargy, to its revival in the late 90s, and to reaching out to other UP Betans through the establishment of UP Beta Sigma-International for which he himself is one of the founders. In every stage until these past few years, Narcing had always been around to provide insight, inspiration, prudence, moral and material support, encouragement, principle-centered leadership and wisdom. In the year 2008, under the term of then UP North Grand Princep Bong Beredo, Narcing was honored with a solid gold frat pin during a blindfold ceremony in celebration of his unstinting service, dedication and loyalty for sixty Diamond years. Surely, his chapter misses his wise counsel now that he has not been so available.






Narcing is what some people may call as an “old soul”, visibly quite unaffected by today’s materialism. He lives a simple life in spite of all the opportunities before him arising from his sterling career. He could easily become among America’s “one percent”, but he has chosen to charge modestly for his services so that even animal lovers below the middle class could afford him. He has earned admiration and respect not only among his fraternity brothers and his colleagues in his profession, but also in his own community and his church.

Married to Gertrudes “Tuding” De Jesus, he begot a son and a daughter: Francis, who finished his Veterinary Medicine degree at the UC-Davis and Anna Marie, a B.S. in Rhetoric and Communication also in UC-Davis. Francis is now in charge of their family-owned Northgate Pet Hospital, with his dad, Narcing doing part-time work. Anna Marie, with her graduate work in screenplay writing at UCLA has been working in Hollywood. Narcing's eldest child, Natalia from marriage to his first wife who died after giving birth to her, earned her B.S. and MBA degrees from the University of Las Vegas. She now works at Health Net as a government contractor. As if it was a fulfillment of all his dreams, in March 2013, Narcing finally got his grandest-- a most precious and only one, beautiful granddaughter by the name of Abigail! Said he jokingly yet beaming with pride and joy, "Masarap pala yung magka-apo ng babae sa anak mong babae."








Following is the last part of Narcing’s speech in Sacramento, on the occasion of UP North’s 24th Anniversary:

“As in Frank Sinatra’s song, I am now in the autumn of my years. And in all these years, I have come to realize that this Fraternity Pin is not computed in terms of money, but in the things I had to do in order to deserve it. Having been in the thick of things since the fraternity’s early years, allow me to share with you my dreams…

I want to preface this portion of my speech by saying that dreams come true only when they are made; and in our case, if they are made with all of us flying in one direction. Walang mangyayari kung kanya-kanyang lipad.

I dream … I dream of a Million Dollar Fraternity. I am not even talking about winning the lotto, but if we do, then we can only thank the One Above for making possible what is almost impossible. It is about our ability to focus, to pool our resources, to walk our talk, to contribute until it hurts. It is about tapping the financial genius among our ranks, belief in our capacity to set aside some of our frivolities today to be able to leave a strong legacy tomorrow. If we become a Million Dollar frat, other dreams will easily come true – a frat house for instance, a dream which I devoutly share with our Los Banos brothers. If we become a Million Dollar Beta Sigma, our vision that "No Betan stands alone" will become a reality at all times, in all corners of the world. If we reach a Million Dollars, then it will be easy to generate the next Million, and thereby allow us to do many things for the good of humanity.

I dream of forging more partnerships among all Chapters towards noble endeavors while standing on a strong financial base, without sacrificing our patrimony, meaning, without sacrificing standards, uniqueness and traditions of our respective universities.

I dream of a strong and viable network and concerted efforts to bring us nearer to the vision we’ve set in 2001 --- A Fraternity of Choice in all UP Campuses.

And finally, I dream that from these residents of highest caliber, future top leaders will emerge in government and business who will sincerely serve and work not for their own selves but towards the upliftment of the poor and the production of the country’s wealth.


In conclusion, this old man has the following words to declare. I am a Beta Sigman and proud of it. This Fraternity Pin that I wear has become an important part of me. In all my years as a UP Betan, I have tried, like most of you in this hall, to uphold the principles, values and practices that this beloved Pin represents – a passion for excellence, joy in having to help a brother in need, sincere feeling of pain for a grieving brod or family of a brod, respect for human dignity that includes all Betans regardless of chapter or school affiliation, and most of all, LOVE …. Love, in the order of our priorities: Reverence to our God. Loyalty to our Country. Utmost Caring for our Family. Living up to the standards of our University. And finally, Service to our Fraternity.

It is particularly humbling to see what Narcing had done, the level he brought this fraternity to, as an important icon in the UP Beta Sigma Northern California community. Someone who has the commitment and the drive to nurture and keep alive an organization for a very long time is a rare and very specifically gifted individual. Every Filipino, most especially those who have migrated to some other country should really be proud of Narcing. Cheers to a great and proud UP Betan. And a grand elder at that.







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